NFS Campground Review – Sycamore Grove, Red Bluff, CA

Hanging at our shaded campsite in Sycamore Grove

A very relaxing forest service campground just a few miles off the I-5 in Red Bluff, CA (north-central CA)

Link to campground here: Sycamore Grove, Red Bluff, CA
Link to map location here: Sycamore Grove, Red Bluff, CA

  1. Site Quality = 3/5
    Pretty nice sites here, esp. for forest service. The campground is a large grassy loop with ample shade trees near the entrance and middle, and more open sites along outer back so there is a nice mix of fully shaded to fully sunny. No real views from the sites, but good separation between campers and nice, green surroundings all around. All sites are paved with spacious “sitting area” containing concrete patio, picnic table, fire-pit and grill. Total 31 campsites, all reservable, of which 10 have 50 amp electric/water. Mix of back-in & pull-throughs. The only ding is that some sites are rather unlevel and on inner sites (inside the loop) the “sitting area” is on the wrong side of the rig. Also although all sites are “rated” at 44-feet many were too small for us (either size-wise or trees in the way) so I wouldn’t recommend anything bigger than our size (40-feet). Biggest sites were #1,27,28,30,31.
  2. Facilities = 3.5/5
    Very nice facilities. Large (spacious) flush toilets and pay-showers, all kept spotlessly clean. Drinking water spigots all around the campground loop. NO dump station however.
  3. Location = 3.5/5
    Red Bluff is not exactly a “destination” location, but as a stop-over this is just perfect. The park is ~4 miles from I-5 so it nicely away from the road traffic and right next to the Sacramento river offering water recreation (fishing, boating) plus miles of nice hiking in the surrounding meadows. Only real ding is that you are right next to the Red Bluff Dam and so you do get some noise from the operation there (didn’t bother us).
  4. Pet Friendliness = 5/5
    Wonderful pooch park. Lots of space and shade to hang out in camp plus lots of lovely hiking trails in the surrounding area. No swimming tho’ (Sacramento River is simply too fast-moving).

Overall Rating = 3.75
Camp in peaceful shade & grass just a few miles off the I-5!

Summary: We were looking for somewhere green & peaceful to stop off the I-5 in north-central CA and this campground came in to save the day. It’s a small, but pretty forest service campground set right by the Sacramento River & Red Bluff Dam and only a few miles off the Interstate. Sites are in huge grassy loop with large shade trees, good separation and very nice “sitting areas”. There is a mix of back-in & pull-through with selection from fully shaded (near entrance) to fully sunny (near back) and even a few 50 amp electric (10 sites total). The majority of the sites were a bit small or too unlevel for us, but we did find a good fit near the front (without reservations too). Surrounding area has river access and lots of hiking. The camphost was lovely too! Overall a really peaceful stop-over and one we would use again.

Extra Info: Average 3G on Verizon (2 bars). Total 31 sites (10 sites have 50 amp/water with rest non hook-up), all reservable on Drinking water spigots on-site, but NO dump station (nearest dump in Red Bluff at the fairgrounds). Sites cost $16 for non-hookup, $25 for electric/water. Senior Pass gives 50% off.

View of one of the larger pull-throughs (#31)
View of large back-in #30
View of shaded site near entrance (#4). Hard to see on the pic, but trees are in the way here.
View down the end of the campground. Site #27 on right and we’re in #28 on left. Both are non-hookup
View down sunny side (back-side) of the loop. Site #21 shown/
View of sunny back-side pull-throughs. RV in front in site #14. Site #15 behind.
View of “sitting area” at each site with picnic table, fire-pit and grill
View of facilities
Walking with Polly on the lovely trails
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do

  1. says

    Hi Nina and Paul. Thanks for the review of this campground we may use sometime. You say all sites are reservable. As a 1st come 1st serve camper, did they only rent it to you “one day at a time”?

    • libertatemamo says

      We were able to pick-up 2 nights and I think that’s the general “norm”. The online reservation system doesn’t allow you to book within 2 days anyway, so if it’s open it’ll remain that way. The week-end was full (because of memorial day), but I think this place is mostly empty during other times. Doesn’t seem to be a busy spot at all.

  2. Amy says

    OMG! That’s our rig in your first photo. We were in spot #2 and had stayed there for 8 days. You came in towards the end of our stay. We have a 40-footer with a 10-foot trailer on the back and three motorcycles, plus we set up a little fenced area for our two cats. We enjoyed that campground very much except for the ‘talkiness’ of the camp host. He was very nice, but I could have used a little more quiet time.

    Right now we are boondocking just south of Mineral, CA — about 39 miles from Sycamore Grove campground. But man, what a place! We’re a half mile from pavement in Lassen National Forest. Other than some target practicing (not right near us but within hearing distance), this place is ultra quiet. If you tell me how I can send you a photo of the place, I will!

    I’m going to keep track of where you guys go because it looks like we are trying to do the same thing — boondock with a big rig.

    • libertatemamo says

      Oh HOW COOL!!! We actually talked about your rig and thought about knocking on your door and meeting you guys, but didn’t want to disturb. You were the only other “big rig” in there, so we felt a kinda kinship :) Sorry we didn’t get to meet!!
      Would certainly love to keep in touch. We’re very much into getting “out there” as much as we can and are constantly scouting out boondocking spots. I’ll send you an e-mail.

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